The Situation: Mary Macpherson

The Situation 2020

Tēnā koutou katoa

‘The Situation 2020’ is a kind of Poet Laureate's Choice of work from Aotearoa New Zealand poets for the Poet Laureate blog. Essentially, it will be a portfolio of poetry, posted over the next while, from a range of poets whose work I have enjoyed reading recently: interesting poems for interesting times.

— David Eggleton


i never know how to begin without / feeling dread in my heart / never know whether to wish

for wellness / or if i want an answer / well / i want one but not that one / never know what to

hope for / for you / hope is a winking word/ do you trust i have your interests at heart? / what

would be your hope? / freedom from people like me? / how could i know? / i wish i could ask

/ an official before talks begin / wish is the well i fall in

— Mary Macpherson


The yellow leaf staring from our tiny lawn.

Our belief it’s a gift from the cat, and that gifts

exist in cat consciousness. Our need to know.

Our imaginary tree, deep in other trees, its leaves

drifting to inky rot. Our x-ray of night through which

a hunter travels, emitting delicate cries. The leaf we know

as Pseudopanax, its tissue drying under a billowing sky.

Our need to name. Our internet telling us it’s how

mothers teach their young to hunt. How a mother brings

bounty and makes it visible. Certain behaviourists

who say it’s a message to get up and play. Or is it care?

About us? Our need opening curtains

to a horse on the lawn.

— Mary Macpherson

Mary Macpherson biography

Mary Mcpherson. Image Peter Black.

Mary Macpherson is a Wellington poet and photographer. Her first poetry collection ‘Social Media’ was published in 2019 by The Cuba Press.

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